KUALA LUMPUR: The National Union of Journalists (NUJ) has chided Communications and Digital Minister Fahmi Fadzil for describing a news report on financial projection as defamatory.
NUJ general secretary Teh Athira Yusof said that the report by Berita Harian (BH) was a forecast of the overnight policy rate (OPR) quoting financial experts, which is typical news coverage by media agencies and portals nationwide.
"It is also the norm for media agencies to publicise their stories on their respective social media platforms which are open to the public to deliver the latest news.
"As minister in charge of media, Fahmi should have been aware of this common practice where the media will run stories based on the opinions and projections of industry experts," she said in a statement on Friday (March 31).
She said his actions undermined the BH story, and making a Facebook post and commenting that the story was a "lie" could cause a negative perception of the media.
"The minister's comments were also reported by a portal, Malaysia Now titled, "Fahmi up in arms over report on possible OPR hike".
"The article also quoted FB users based on the comments that they understood the usage of the word, 'dijangka' (projection) in the one-liner update on BH's Facebook account," she said.
She also questioned where was the press freedom as promised by the new government if the minister was labelling an article by local media on financial projection as defamation.
She said NUJ hoped that the minister could be more understanding of stories that the local media produces as reliable, trusted and credible news sources.